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In the morning…

Arwen, Queen of Gondor, departed the city to visit their friend, Lord Faramir and his wife Éowyn.

King Elessar walked over his son's room. With Arwen gone, he felt the need to play with his son more. He knew how his son missed her, and wanted to cheer him up.

The bed was empty, and there was no sign of his son. He grew worried about where his son could be that morning.

He went outside, searching for him, calling his name, but his son was nowhere to be found.

'Where else he could be?' Elessar asked himself, wondering why this happened to him.

"ELDARION!" Elessar called in concern, fearing that something might have happened to his son.

No answer came and Elessar's fear grew with every single minute.

"ELDARION, WHERE ARE YOU?" He called again, and then thought to himself, he should searching for him, looking house by house, searching in every spot.

He was in the garden, and felt frustrated that he did not see any sign of his son. He grew in panic, blame and anger, and asked himself, 'How could I lose my own son?'

Aragorn did not even noticed his guard looking at him, scanning his face, until the guard moved his hand over his lord's shoulder, and at that, Aragorn jumped, and almost knocked his guard to the ground.

"My lord? Is there something wrong?" the guard asked.

"Wrong? Yes there is," Elessar snapped, and answered, "My son is missing, and I do not know where else should I look for him."

The king scanned the guard, eye for eye, and noticed the green eyes sparkled in a mysterious way. He asked, "Do you know where my son is?"

The guard smiled and nodded, "I do know where he is, your highness, but I assumed you had been told…"

"What exactly do you mean by that?" Elessar asked.

"Well… my lord… Lord Gimli said that he would tell you… but I guess that he forgot, as it seemed to be…" the guards stammered, and took a step back.

"Is Eldarion with Gimli?" Elessar asked, looking at the guard as he tried to calm his body and to release the anger from his body.

"Yes he is, my lord."

"Show me the way."

The guard was heading through the garden as he walked over the second path from the palace. He stopped and turned to his king. "We are here my lord."

Elessar could hear the joy in his son's voice as he ran to Gimli, and Gimli welcomed him with opened arms and lifted the boy.

The king heard a horse groaning, and by then he could see… Legolas?

"Legolas?" he called unnoticed, as his eyes were over the rider, who controlled the horse with grace and love.

Gimli turned his head right away toward the voice; Legolas turned the horse to the path where King Elessar stood.

While Eldarion ran to his father. Aragorn hugged his son tightly, never wishing to let go. Then he kissed him, and told him over and over how much he loved him.

"I thought you knew, my friend…" Gimli said with a cracking voice, as he felt guilty about his acts, thinking that Legolas had told him, and then he stared over at Legolas.

Legolas dismounted from his horse, and looked over his friend, and replied softly, "I told Gimli to tell you," Legolas said, grinning at the dwarf, "but it seems that the mind of the dwarf is smaller than I thought…"

Aragorn stared at his friends with frown look and then he gazed back over his child who smiled at him with his beautiful face. Aragorn kissed him again, and then he asked gently as he could, "How did these two take you from under my nose?"

Eldarion replied with a grin, "Gimli woke me, while Legolas stood watch by the doorway."

"I see," Aragorn said and instead of the panic he had worn on his face, he now had joy. He scanned his friends's faces and simply said, "Next time let me know what you are doing…"

"See Legolas, I won, you owe me some good ale." Gimli grinned over the elf.

"That was not fair and you know it, you stubborn dwarf. The guard told him." Legolas muttered, trying to place the blame on the guard.

Aragorn held his son, and walked between Legolas and Gimli.

"What was the bet?" Aragorn asked, curious.

"You, mellon-nin, you were our bet." Gimli answered, while his eyes focus on the elf's blue eyes.

"And what exactly was the purpose of your bet?" Aragorn asked in a demanding voice.

"How soon you would panic and ran around the palace with your 'worried look'?" Gimli replied, making it sound like a question.

"And how long was I?" Aragorn asked and stared at the two.

"Not long, mellon-nin, and yet, your security was weak enough to let 'the enemy' break in and take your child before you noticed." Legolas answered, thinking of his concern when he had found how easy it was to take his friend's lovely child.

Aragorn nodded, and embraced his son once more, as tears of relief fell from his eyes, now his son was safely in his arms.

Aragorn looked over Eldarion and saw his large smile and the eyes that shone with happiness.

"What game did you play with them, son?" Aragorn asked and stroked Eldarion's hair.

"They taught me 'caught and tickling', Ada." Eldarion answered, and began to tickle his father, who tried not to drop the boy or fall with him to the ground.

Luckily for Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli were near and put his son on the ground.

Aragorn knelt by his son, and whispered to him, "I need your help, ion-nin, to catch one particular elf, and one particular dwarf. Would you help me?"

Eldarion stared at his Ada and replied, "Anything for you, my father, I love you."

King Elessar found that he could not hold any more tears. When he heard his son's words as he replied sobbing, "I love… I love you too, my sweet Eldarion."

"Now, you owe me, your stubborn dwarf." Legolas pointed at Gimli, and hid his grin from Aragorn.

"Fine, but you owe me as well, pointy-eared Elvish princeling…" Gimli teased him.

"What are both of you doing in my palace in first place?" Aragorn asked, as he again held his son.

He found that he needed to figure out something before he could play with his son.

"Arwen sent me a letter month ago to let us know that she was leaving to visit Lord Faramir and Lady Éowyn," Legolas explained and then he grinned at the king, "She let me know about what happened the last time that she left and you handled the boy alone… so we took the matters in our hands, to make sure that you would not forget your son… ever!"

Aragorn whispered to his son, as he decided that time had come, and his friends should pay, "Eldarion, I think that now is the time to catch elf and dwarf, and tickle them till they surrender to us."

Eldarion nodded, and ran to catch the dwarf.

Legolas noticed the child, and then his eyes caught the father's eyes. 'Oh no… why would I always hear the dwarf… run for your life princeling… run before you would caught… run…'

'This could now be a great day… my son was found, and I need to deal with my stubborn friends…" Aragorn grinned; as he smirked at his friend, and started chasing after him, never let go, feeling that he had almost had his own heart attack confronting his own fear, of losing his son.

The End